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Boise Towne Square becomes ‘unbearable’ as shoppers wait for toy promotion

Parents and children wait in line for hours for discount at Build-A-Bear

Chaos ensued at the Boise mall on Thursday, July 12, as hundreds of parents waited in line for hours for a special discount at Build-A-Bear . Strollers and small children crowded the walkways.
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Chaos ensued at the Boise mall on Thursday, July 12, as hundreds of parents waited in line for hours for a special discount at Build-A-Bear . Strollers and small children crowded the walkways.

By 1 p.m. Thursday, at least 400 people still lined the Boise mall’s hallways with tired children sitting on their mother’s hips and smaller kids impatiently waiting in strollers.

A one-day nationwide promotion at Build-A-Bear Workshop brought parents in droves to the Boise Towne Square. They, along with their children, waited for hours to create toys by ‘building a bear.’ Build-A-Bear Workshop deemed the event the “Pay Your Age” sale, meaning the parent of a 3-year-old child, for example, would have to pay only $3.

Because there were so many mall shoppers, the building’s security requested assistance from the Boise Police Department. BPD reported that one officer was sent to the mall to help with crowd control.

In Boise, some waiting families brought lawn chairs, while others ate food from mall vendors as the morning hours faded to afternoon while they lingered. Others turned around and went home, avoiding the squealing children.

By afternoon, kids were spotted either giggling with others or pouting on the floor. It was an emotional day for Boise toddlers.

In some areas, Build-A-Bear Workshops were ordered by local authorities to stop taking additional shoppers on Thursday.

“We cannot accept additional guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns,” the company tweeted. “We have closed lines in our stores. We understand some guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible.”

Boise’s Build-A-Bear Workshop was still open Thursday afternoon, but the company’s website stated it would offer redeemable vouchers to Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members who log into their account by midnight Sunday.

As of 2 p.m., no injuries were reported as a result of the crowd in Boise. The mall will remain open until 9 p.m., according to Boise Towne Square’s website.

Ruth Brown: 208-377-6207, @RuthBrownNews
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